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New air routes connecting Sabah to two Sulawesi cities in the offing: BEBC Malaysia

By Chris Maskilone

KOTA KINABALU: Two new air routes connecting Sabah to Sulawesi might be established, which sets to create an exciting time for BIMP-Eaga.

BIMP-Eaga Business Council (BEBC) Malaysia Chairman Datuk Roselan Johar Mohamed said the planned new air routes were Manado to Kota Kinabalu and Makassar to Tawau.

Datuk Roselan Johar Mohamed. SNT File Pix

“Both routes are crucial to connect to Raja Ampat, a destination where many has not seen before,” he said in a statement here Wednesday.

He said the date has yet to be fixed for State Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Christina Liew to visit Manado to meet the Indonesian counterpart. 

“Whatever they will discuss over there, the rakyat is sure to benefit,” he said.

“AirAsia is still contemplating whilst Garuda is almost sure of coming.  But they will let the Tourism Ministers seal the loose ends. 

“If all goes well, we will see all the four nations be more closer as one great nation we call BIMP-Eaga,” said Roselan.

According to him, for decades many has acknowledged that there seemed to be zero connectivity, a vacuum, between Sulawesi to Sabah and Mindanao.

“But surely and steadily, the Senior Officials of BIMP-Eaga and stimulated by the BIMP-Eaga Business Council are making headways on air travels,” he said.

Roselan said the sea connectivity may be slow in making progress but the air connectivity are flying on target.

“Garuda of Indonesia first started the Manado to Davao flight in September 2019 by flying every Friday and Sunday. 

“The load factor was bearish at about 70 per cent.  In terms of percentage, there seems to be more Indonesians flying to Davao.

“Not wanting to lose out, the Philippine Airline, PAL EXPRESS, will complement the sector by flying every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. 

“This flying south will happen on 31st March 2020 almost at the same time PAL is flying north from Zamboanga to Kota Kinabalu,” he said.-SabahNewsToday